The View

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My current full time position in the hospital is not as active as my most recent full time position in the ED.  It’s very easy to get in a tunnel of fitness articles, blog posts, YouTube videos, etc and not get outside or walk around when stuck in a small office 36 hours a week.  Today I decided to take a few pictures on my walk around the hospital campus that is shared by a level one trauma facility and a medical school.

Some things that I observed while on my 30-ish minute break:

  1. It is HOT!  Wow – the humidity of the East Coast is no joke on a 90+ degree day.  Seriously like thick soup.  However it was amazing to feel the warmth of the sun, despite the fact there was absolutely NO breeze.
  2. I walked by three people taking a smoke break.  Our entire campus is smoke free requiring anyone that chooses to smoke to walk to the neighboring areas away from campus to get their fix.  Observation – they were outside enjoying a break from their jobs just like I was, only they were quietly standing still under a tree.
  3. Quite a few people were out and about and I took notice of how many people actually acknowledged my presence.  It’s amazing to me that you can walk by someone close enough to touch them and smell their laundry detergent, but they will act as if you do not even exist.  By example, my parents taught me to make eye contact, smile and acknowledge anyone close enough to do so.  I grew up in a neighborhood where everyone waved as they drove by, or at least smiled.
  4. It was enough to change my outlook on my 12 hour day to sweat a little and move.  So, uh, just do it.

What kinds of things did you see today?  How did you move around your environment?

Memorial Day Diet and Fitness Challenge D.O.N.E. – But Not Over

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#bruteyogi and I are so friggin’ cute

The challenge is officially over as of Memorial Day.  While I didn’t win, we all walked away with something - no seriously, we did!  I came in fifth with 407 out of 450 possible points – the winner finished with 418 points.  Our challenge master has been putting these little challenges together for a few years and has really fined tuned her craft.  Surprisingly the challenge master also has a decently demanding day job as a family attorney, so I don’t know how she even finds time to make these things possible. The last adventure of the challenge culminated at one of the participants home for a little afternoon pool party and awards ceremony.  Again, the challenge master did not disappoint with fun awards ceremony!  Our winner chose a charity of her choice to send the challenge purse of over $500.  She chose NPR (aka National Public Radio for those of you lame-o’s that don’t know what NPR is).  In addition to bragging rights of winning the entire challenge, her award is the tax write off at the end of the year.  #bruteyogi and I took home the Couple Champions award with that giant bottle of sparkling wine pictured above.  Basically we are a power couple and you shouldn’t fuck with us.

Our winnings!

Our winnings!

One of the participants (2nd place winner) plays a great game at Thanksgiving each year with her family where the entire family participates in something similar to a family superlatives ceremony.  As the superlative is called out everyone nominates a family member (that’s present) and the person with the most votes wins the award.  We did something similar to that as part of our challenge awards ceremony and the winners picked a prize out of the prize basket.  This blog nominated me for the most inspirational during the challenge, and I must thank all of you for reading my posts – this blog has been therapy for me and a way to hold myself accountable during the challenge.  It’s humbling to know that there are readers out there.  I believe this blog also showed my competitive side, a side that I didn’t really think was as prominent as it seems to be, so I grabbed some skittles for that award.  Mmmmmmm skittles!  That 20# DeadLift PR grabbed another treat, and my perpetual state of sobriety (I don’t really like alcohol at all) grabbed another treat.  Notice the Jack in the pile over there…the wifey gets those.

Other awards included the most likes in our private FaceBook group, no grain cheats, biggest complainer, person that never had a perfect day, best transformation, best adventure activity, surviving a birthday during the challenge (we had TWO!), and a few others I can’t remember.

The best part of the pool party was being able to sit around and talk to the people that I don’t normally see on a daily basis beyond our virtual community.  Community, there’s a lot to say about that word.  A group of misfits that may not have been together had it not been for the challenge, was together for an afternoon sharing in conversation and getting to know each other on a more intimate level beyond the virtual community that our challenge created.  We shared in a common goal and that common goal broke the ice allowing the inherent diversity that we all bring to the table to come together.  It’s a beautiful thing to find commonalities between people that on the surface can be as different as apples and oranges.  We really are all the same, just in different vessels.

After the challenge I find myself still acting as if I am preparing challenge compliant food remaining on the challenge in some aspect.  When it’s not convenient, ie we were in DC for the Mid Atlantic Crossfit Regionals this weekend, it wasn’t as much of a pain in the ass to remain compliant.  My coworker asked me if I went off the deep end after the challenge, and I can honestly say I didn’t.  I did have sushi (with some mutha fuckin’ rice), ice cream, and that fantastic Oprah chai tea latte at Starbuck spread over four days…but really I kept the indulgences to a minimum.  We worked too hard to get to this point to throw it away completely.  And I’m finding that I don’t really crave the cheats like in the past.

pile 'o sushi plates post chow fest at the conveyor belt 'o sushi in DC...YUM!

pile ‘o sushi plates post chow fest at the conveyor belt ‘o sushi in DC…YUM!

If you’ve done a diet and fitness challenge, what have you done to stay on the challenge indefinitely so that you don’t have to go back on the challenge the next time they come around?  What’s your motivation to remain clean?  Here’s the scoop – I know how I feel when I over indulge.  I know how I feel when I eat whole foods.  I also know how I feel if I don’t work out and when I do.  When I make choices that include cheetos (I LOVE those damn things), my practice will be to not have food remorse.  What will that accomplish but unhealthy self pitty (for my yogis out there does Ahimsa come to mind?)? This has been a lesson in practicing self love and acceptance for the choices that I do make – good or bad.  And, well, it was a good practice because it seems to be sticking.

To all the Teddy’s Out There

Originally posted on Sleep.Eat.Endure...Repeat:

It’s not uncommon for me to tell out-of-state friends all the wonderful things I love about California. In fact, after the winter they had back East, it’s VERY hard not to! Of course going back for the occasional snow storm is always fun, especially when you can leave and head back to perfect SoCal weather. Friends here say they can’t imagine having to “hunker down” for a hurricane, or being “snowed-in” during a blizzard. One thing they didn’t mention… were fires.

It was hot last Wednesday. But having just been in Florida where 80 degrees with high humidity left me sweating constantly.. 90 degrees of dry heat, frankly, wasn’t feeling too too bad. I got to work, only to find our entire computer system was down. AKA.. we couldn’t do a thing. The prognosis was “it could be five minutes, or it could be hours”. Finally at 10 o’clock, people…

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Day 32 – All done, almost….

 

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It’s the final day of the challenge…almost.  The diet part of the diet and fitness challenge is complete.  It’s Friday and we have until Memorial Day (Monday) to complete three possible fitness events for an additional 30 bonus points.  While I’ve managed to grab a lot of bonus points I will not be pocketing all of these.

As promised – here are the challenge photos.  Each photo was taken on Tuesday, except for the last one which was taken today.  Ignore the awesome yellow walls and lighting – we haven’t painted yet….

Start of the challenge and one week in.

Start of the challenge and the end of the first week.

Week 2

End of Week 1

Week 3

End of Week 2

Week 4

End of Week 3

Last day!

Last day!

Week 1 on the left, today on the right.

Week 1 on the left, today on the right.

We’re in DC watching the beasts of the MidAtlantic at Regionals this weekend…hope to have some good material for you fine readers in the next few posts.

Today’s Total: 10

 

 

Day 31 – ONE MORE DAY!

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 This quote is it in a nutshell.

It’s that moment where I reflect on the challenge as a whole.  My coworkers asked how it was going today, and interestingly enough I realized that 30 days had gone by and they went by a LOT faster than I thought they would.  The challenge has gone well, very well I think.  I surprised myself in how competitive I have been throughout this month – I really do/did want to win!  I don’t know if I’ll pull it off in the end – we have until Monday to accumulate a possible 30 bonus points.  I may only grab 10 of those points and my closest competitor, er uh, participant, will like grab at least that.

Here’s what I’ve taken from this challenge:

  1. Awareness of the amount of sugar that is in our food in this country (and likely else where).  There are just some things that DO NOT need sugar.  Peanut butter for example (keep your “that’s not paleo” to yourself – it’s delicious).  Sausage – does that really need sugar?
  2. Grains are EVERYWHERE.  I think there’s an evil grain alien plot to take over the world.  It’s just empty calories, really.
  3. Speaking of empty calories – I’m much more apt to take a pause before I eat something that’s less than fuel knowing that it won’t really satisfy the need my body has in that moment.  However – I miss ice cream and will be having some this weekend.  BAM!  So kiss it.
  4. Creative intentional exercise!  Maintaining points through out the challenge I have had to get creative about exercise every day – especially when I’m working 12 hour shifts.  Stair climbs, walks around the hospital campus, too much foam rolling, yoga in the middle of my office, you name it!
  5. Writing every day has been much more enjoyable than I may have initially imagined.  My creative mind is just flowing with ideas!  It has been really awesome to be reacquainted with this habit of mine.  I have missed writing.

Here’s something I didn’t realize would happen: While I’ve struggled with my weight throughout life, attempting to look a certain way, fit in to a certain size, have the scale show a particular number, etc – I’ve realized that my happiness is not wrapped up in a number or an exterior appearance.  When I’m fighting with an image I have in my head I’m missing the point entirely by not accepting myself unconditionally.  It’s a long process to recondition my mind and I have to practice this daily or it will never go away.

So, I had to get on the scale at work today for our annual Health Risk Assessment (height, weight, lipid, glucose panel…).  If you remember – my bad habit that I was giving up for this challenge was NOT to get on the scale unless required to for doctor’s visits.  I haven’t been on a scale in over a month.  Today I contemplated covering my eyes so that I didn’t look, but I was curious.  Had the number changed while on this challenge?  How would that number make me feel?

Nothing changed.  I wasn’t attached to that number I saw, so I wasn’t excited or disappointed.  I felt the same walking off the scale as I did walking on to it.  I’m the exact same number on that scale that I was when I started (or at least really close to it).  I didn’t think I’d loose weight honestly.  #bruteyogi and I have been lifting heavy for 2+ months now and doing much less in terms of metcons.  I’d expect my strength to increase along with my muscle mass.  It seems as thought that theory is true.  I’ll post pre-challenge pictures at the end along with the final challenge photo and you can see the changes for yourself.  But what is not visible in those pictures is how I feel.  I am stronger than I’ve ever been.  My body feels good.  I care less about those numbers (pant size, scale, etc) – I care more about the fact that my clothes are snugger in my shoulders, biceps, quads and ass because my muscles are growing.  That’s what I like to feel.  I like to feel strong, I like to be strong - I am strong. 

Today’s Total: 10

We’re off to the Mid Atlantic CrossFit Regionals in the morning!

Day 30 – The finish line

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The challenge is almost over!

While in yoga last night, I looked over at one of the other participants and said “I’m ready for it to be over”.  Referring to this Memorial Day Diet and Fitness (and Sobriety) Challenge.

What am I ready for?  To not scrutinize every little thing I put in to my body, while also realizing that that scrutiny will aid my choices in the future.  I want to enjoy the occasionally delicious chai latte, the ice cream, eating out with less stress of figuring out the menu…..

As a person whom has struggled with weight and come to terms with the reality of why the weight was put on in the first place – I feel confident that I can make appropriate decisions regarding what I put in to my body and why.  Food is fuel – not therapy.  (I saw that somewhere and LOVE it!)  I know that beating myself up for poor choices won’t help the situation either – taking responsibility and then letting it go will.

Writing this blog during this challenge has been incredibly rewarding.  I think I’ve heard that it takes 21 days to formulate a new habit – well, this is a new habit that looks as though it will continue.  I won’t be writing every single day, but I look forward to publishing more blog posts than prior to this challenge.

Intentional movement hasn’t always come easy to me (see the struggle with weight above – similar reasons).  Now that I’ve found something I enjoy doing, I’m seeing progress towards my goal to be stronger, and I actually enjoy intentional movement in terms of lifting, exercise, running, etc – it’s easy to keep this up.  Even the hiatus post rotator cuff repair didn’t keep me away too long.  I’m just a bit smarter about that movement now.

As many of my coaches have said to me – just keep moving, you’re almost done!

Today’s Total: 10

 

Day 29 – Assumptions

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Attaching expectations to a supposed outcome can involve navigating some dangerous territory.  Expectations: a strong assumption that something will happen…in the future.  Assumption: something is accepted as truth or certainty without proof.  Right there we could get in to a nice discussion about how the definitions are much more involved than the words alone.

Think about how much pressure we could take off our shoulders if we let go of the expectations we have – especially when it deals with other people in our lives.  To be able to enter in to conversations without the expectation that your friend will react or respond in a specific way.  Desiring these outcomes is actually a great mirror in to our own life.  If we take the opportunity to look, and really see, ourselves in this mirror we can look into what our own expectations of ourselves actually are…they aren’t of that other person at all.  That’s not our responsibility.

What do we do with the unexpected now that we aren’t expecting it in the first place?  Roll with it, be present in that moment.  My personal practice is to not take it personally when things don’t go the way I thought they may.  It’s a difficult practice to let go of this ego response because it had nothing to do with me in the first place, right?  Why make it about me when their responses are actually projections of them?  Then I’ve created more energy in to that circle of attaching expectations, not seeing myself, blah blah blah.  (See, dangerous territory, right!?)  By taking responsibility for me I have let go of  those attached expectations – WIN!  (We won’t even go in to the process of how to begin to do this other than to say, be like Nike and just fucking do it.)

images-1  Here’s my proposition: If you want to know something, ask!  Assuming you know the answer only puts you in that little shark infested pond on a small ass island of steak.  We’d have so much less D.R.A.M.A in the world if we would just communicate in a from the heart and honest way.  Take responsibility for your own feelings, actions, thoughts – they’re already yours.

Let’s take this challenge for example.  I have consciously and subconsciously placed expectations not only on myself but on the other participants.  Those that I have placed on my own outcome I have had to really get real with and not allow disappointment or judgement to creep in – take ownership for my own thoughts and actions, right?  I’m a conscious being that is capable of making my own decisions and must own the decision I made to have grain last night and loose a point – for example.  Now, my expectations of the other’s in this challenge are not my expectations to make – AT ALL.  They can do as they wish and it’s not my place to even think or judge that they should act in a certain way.

What have you wanted to know, but have never asked?

Today’s Total: 10